Front Page Titles (by Subject) COMMISSION. - The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 3 (Diplomatic Missions 1498-1505)
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COMMISSION. - Niccolo Machiavelli, The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 3 (Diplomatic Missions 1498-1505) 
The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings of Niccolo Machiavelli, tr. from the Italian, by Christian E. Detmold (Boston, J. R. Osgood and company, 1882). Vol. 3.
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Magnifici Domini, etc., etc.: —
Intelligentes multis de causis oportere non literis tantum, sed per eos etiam, qui in Castris Gallicis fuissent, excusare, purgareque multa quæ objicerentur R. P. obque recessum esset ab obsidione Pisanæ urbis, elegerunt Franciscum Casam, et Nicolaum Machiavellum secretarium secum, ambos nobilissimos cives Florentinos, dederuntque illis in sua hac legatione ea mandata, quæ infra scripta sunt, et cum salario unoquoque die, videlicet Francisco Casæ librarum octo florenorum parvorum, et Nicolao Machiavello, ultra ejus salarium ordinarium, ad rationem florenorum viginti largorum in grossis unoquoque mense.
Franciscus reversus est die 6 Martii 1500.
Nicolaus reversus est die 14 Januarius 1500.
You will proceed with all possible despatch, even to riding post, if your strength permits it, to Lyons, or wherever you learn that his most Christian Majesty is to be found. Upon arrival, you will at once call upon our ambassadors there, Messers Francesco Gualterotti and Lorenzo Lenzi, and communicate to them our present instructions, and confer with them as to whether there is anything to be added or left out; also as to your mode of proceeding in urging one thing more than another. You will then present yourselves, together with our ambassadors, before his Majesty, the king, and, after the customary formalities of the first audience, you will expose to him in our name the substance of the instructions you will receive from us; although we do not believe that we can give you more clear and positive information than what you already possess touching the events of which you have yourselves been witnesses, and in connection with which you were in great part the agents and executors of all that had to be done on our part.
The whole of this matter consists of two parts, viz.: first, to complain of the disturbances that have taken place, and to make known their cause and the names of their originators; and, secondly, to defend and exculpate us from the imputations that may be brought against us. But upon this latter part you will not touch unless obliged by necessity to repel the charges they may make in relation to what we ought to have done under the circumstances, etc., etc. You will, therefore, limit yourselves in your first exposition to enumerating all the reasons that have constrained Monseigneur de Beaumont to despair of success, and finally to abandon the siege of Pisa. And these were, according to our judgment, the lack of obedience of the troops to the orders of the commander-in-chief, the intrigues which at first were carried on by the captain of the Swiss with the Pisans, and afterwards by certain Italians of the party of the Trivulzi and the Pallavicini, by order of Messer Gianjacopo, who, seeing how much our city, after recovering all her possessions, could do to aid in the preservation of the duchy of Milan, had taken this means of thwarting an undertaking which he did not approve of; and perhaps he also contemplated in this way to interrupt the attempt against the kingdom of Naples. It is thus that nearly all the others excepting Beaumont and Samplet have acted; and that the governor of Asti and Monsignore di Buno (on account of Entraghes) have revived all the old passions of Italy. To this statement you will be careful to add the full particulars of what you have witnessed yourselves, and of which you have a distinct recollection, but of which it is impossible for us to give particular details. You must add, furthermore, all that has been done in favor of the Pisans by the people of Lucca, Genoa, and Sienna, of which we have no positive evidence, although we know that ambassadors from these cities were kept in camp to create disturbances and to keep the army in suspense. You will on no account omit to say that these men have often been seen to enter Pisa in secret; and especially Rinieri della Sassetta, who has been pointed out to us as the agent and special favorite of the Pallavicini, to whom, together with all the others who were unfriendly to our enterprise against Pisa, we attribute the defection of the Gascons, and which had no other cause than that, and was the manifest origin of the ruin of this enterprise. For after that the Swiss became turbulent, and refused to perform all service, in consequence of which the camp had to be broken up. The object of stating all this to his Majesty is to demonstrate to him that the failure of the enterprise can in no way be attributed to us.
You may begin your statement with the departure of the troops from Piacenza, and show that, until their arrival under the walls of Pisa, all that could be done was done by us; and then you can go on immediately to state the above-mentioned circumstances, and add all that you can remember as having contributed to the failure of the enterprise. Let that be the substance of your first audience, and be careful to avoid seeming to excuse us in any way, unless it be that we are reproached with having neglected to throw a bridge over the river Osole, or with having allowed the army to remain without provisions and ammunition as well as pioneers. Your reply upon these points will not be difficult, however, for the bridge could not be constructed for want of an escort, which it was their business to furnish; and as regards munitions, you are yourselves aware that they were furnished in more than double the quantity that their bombardiers had asked for, of which we still have their own letters as proof. In fact, they have never been short of ammunition, unless it was after it became manifest that the success of the enterprise was despaired of. And, moreover, they declared that they would not burn an ounce of their own powder, although it was agreed at Milan that they were to let us have all the powder and balls which they had, on condition that our commissioner paid them for it, or returned them an equal quantity. And finally as to the pioneers, notwithstanding the bad treatment to which they were subjected in being obliged to plant batteries by daylight, yet our commissioner had offered and agreed with the master of artillery, in case he should be in want of pioneers, to supply them at our expense from amongst those who were in camp, without any reclamation whatever for their pay; and this offer was accepted, and had satisfied them. As regards the matter of provisions, you have so large a field for explanation in the frequent and manifest dishonesty of the French, that this point will be more easily excused than any other; and you must not fail to relate the greater part of the particular instances that have occurred, which was so frequent a subject of our letters to the camp.
It will, furthermore, be proper for you to speak of the capture of our commissioner, of the persons guilty of this outrage, and of the manner in which it was done, and of the outrages and insults we have had to bear, even from the lowest private soldier. In fact, you must make a summary of all these matters, which will go to prove that we have been treated by them more like enemies than friends, amplifying or extenuating these matters as will best serve our cause. And upon this point you must not forget to say that the detention of Gianotto da San Martino and of his troops was entirely by order of Beaumont; and for our entire justification upon this point you will take his letter with you, as well as copies and originals of other writings that will serve for our vindication.
We deem it unnecessary to add anything more for your information to this commission; for all the knowledge we have has been obtained from the camp, where you were personally present, and could therefore see and know all the facts better than ourselves. You will therefore enlarge upon these facts as much as may seem necessary to you, without departing from the course which we have indicated to you above; namely, you will first explain all the causes that have given rise to these disorders; and then you will show all that has been done by us since the departure of the troops from Piacenza, both for the payment of the stipend, as well as everything else; and when necessary, you will repel and vindicate us from all charges of having been the authors of these disorders that have led to the failure of the enterprise.
And although we have refrained from blaming the commander, not wishing to incur his enmity, nevertheless when, speaking before his Majesty the king, or other personages of importance, the opportunity presents itself of successfully laying the blame upon him, you will do so energetically, and must not hesitate to charge him with cowardice and corruption. You will also state that he had constantly in his tent with him, and at his table, either one or both of the ambassadors from Lucca, through whom the Pisans obtained information and advice of all our plans and our doings. But until such an opportunity occurs, you must speak of the commander in an honorable manner, and throw all the blame upon others, and avoid particularly saying anything against him in presence of the Cardinal d’Amboise; for we do not wish to lose his good will, unless we can thereby gain a corresponding advantage in another direction. Our ambassadors can give you all the information, not only upon this point, but also whether it will do for you to speak openly of Trivulzio and the others, in which matters they can best guide you, for they know the favors and disfavors of the court much better than we do.
You may add in justification of the non-construction of the bridge over the river Osole, that the troops had hastened their march, and arrived there on the very day when they were expected to reach the bridge over the Serchio.
Touching the Lucchese, you will state that one of their ambassadors accompanied the Gascons at the time of their defection; and that, whilst the French held the mouth of the river Arno, they constantly permitted provisions and troops and munitions of war, etc. to reach Pisa by way of the river; and particularly that Tarlatino of Citta di Castello entered Pisa in that way with a number of companions; and immediately upon his arrival was placed at the head of all the infantry that was there.